Advisers to California Governor Gavin Newsom are reportedly worried about a “nightmare scenario” in which “a movie star or a candidate with extraordinary star power” enters the recall election that is now considered almost certain to occur.
The campaign to collect signatures to force the recall election has surpassed the minimum of 1.5 million signatures, and reported Wednesday that it had surpassed 1.8 million. Organizers hope to reach 2 million by the March 17 deadline.
We’re now at 1,825,000 signatures.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) February 25, 2021
In a feature by Los Angeles magazine, Peter Kiefer asks whether Newsom is vulnerable, given the recent collapse in his polling numbers. The governor remained popular throughout most of the pandemic, until he attended a party at the elite French Laundry restaurant in November, violating his own coronavirus guidelines — just as a new surge began, with near-statewide shutdowns of small businesses, and resistance from teachers’ unions to reopen schools in San Francisco and L.A.
Kiefer reports that Newsom is not worried about the candidates who have joined the race to replace Newsom thus far — former opponent John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and left-wing billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya. However:
[T]here are nightmare scenarios that have Newsom’s inner circle worried. “There’s no Republican on the scene right now,” says one Newsom adviser. “But that doesn’t mean a movie star or a candidate with extraordinary star power couldn’t rise out of nowhere. That’s what I’m nervous about.”
Governor Dwayne Johnson? It could happen.
Johnson, also known as “The Rock,” is a Democrat and has suggested he might run for president one day. But other “star power” candidates are possible, such as former Trump administration intelligence official and diplomat Ric Grenell.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.